More than 32,000 people die and 2 million people are injured in car accidents each year in the United States. And in 2013, the rate of U.S. crash fatalities was more than twice the average of other high-income countries.
Although accidents can, and will, happen, there are measures we can take to prevent many accidents from occurring in the first place. The Federal government and many states are implementing safety and awareness programs. Find out what you can do as a driver and passenger to improve safety on our roads.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs report, drivers and passengers can do the following to help fight against serious and fatal car accidents:
- Use a seat belt in every seat and on every trip, no matter how short.
- Buckle children in safely in car seats, booster seats or seat belts, whichever is appropriate for their height and weight.
- Do not drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and encourage others to make the same decision.
- Obey speed limits and other posted traffic signs and signals.
- Drive free from distractions, such as texting or other cellphone use.
It is also important to share the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists and watch for pedestrians in the crosswalks. They are extra vulnerable on the roads, and tend to suffer more serious injuries.
If you are in a car accident, first get immediate medical treatment for you and your passengers. It is also important to speak to a personal injury attorney about your legal claim with the insurance company.